Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to Keep Your Online Business Information Secure


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When your entire business is online, you tend to not use paper at all. Most, if not all, of your files are probably residing on a server somewhere. You probably don't want to think about it, but what would you do if you lost these files? Are you taking the proper measures to make sure that no one can sabotage your business? You need all your files, from your business contacts to your clients contact information, it’s all necessary to keep your business running smoothly.

First and foremost, you need to protect your customer’s credit card information. You can get into serious legal trouble from the federal government if you don’t take proper precautions against hackers getting credit card information. Nothing is ever perfectly safe while connected to the internet; someone will always be able to find a way to get around any sort of high tech software you build a barrier with. This is why choosing a third party payment processor is probably the best bet for small to mid-sized businesses. These payment processors, such as eBay, AcceptPay or PayPal, allow you to facilitate credit card purchases without ever gaining this information. If you don’t know your customers credit card information, then you don’t need to protect it.

Probably the second worst thing that could happen to your online business is data failure. When a hard drive goes bad it’s nearly impossible to recover the information that was stored on it. It takes thousands of dollars to attempt to recover information from a damaged hard drive; this is without a guarantee that anything valuable will be recovered. You can protect yourself from an issue like this by simply scheduling regular backups of your information. There are plenty of cloud based backup services available that you should look into. Basically, all you do is install a piece of software and schedule when you want backups to occur. You can set the software to back up whenever a file gets changed, or you can set it to back up on a nightly basis.

Always make sure that your server host is ready for a malicious attack. When you store your information offsite on a webserver, you need to be prepared for a malicious attack. Hopefully it doesn’t come to this, but more and more innocent websites are being targeted by people who don’t even care about their target, they just want to make life harder for someone else. These types of attacks can leave whole networks bottlenecked for days or even weeks, but with proper networking, they can be mitigated and even eliminated without a single hit to performance. The key is in setting up a proper amount of redundancy in your network to handle the added stress. Coupled with the proper firewall to filter out repeated connections and connections that show signs of being an attack, and you have an easily defensible network.

It might sound scary to even own an online business with all this talk about attacks and losing data. Ignorance is bliss for a lot of things in life, but computer security isn’t one of them. When you are armed with the knowledge of what can happen and do something to prevent it, you have nothing to worry about. Just make sure that you know exactly what you will be doing if one of these problems do arise.

About the author:

Virginia Cunningham is a avid technology blogger touching on topics from social media to security solutions. She writes for a blog that specializes in identity solutions for businesses, for one of the most trusted provider of secure ID solutions, AlphaCard.

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